Co-op Regional Board To Discuss St Mary’s Store Complaints

Queues in the St Mary's Coop store

The regional board of the Co-op in the southwest is set to discuss complaints and problems about their St Mary’s store.

Andrew North, the regional secretary has responded to a letter from Alan Davis – the Garrison resident is spearheading a campaign to improve the island store’s service to locals and visitors.

He says he has no issue with local staff but wants the mainland policymakers to make the store cheaper and sell what islanders want. Alan says there is much disquiet about the Co-op monopoly position, now the wholesalers has closed, and he says visitors feel it is expensive.

He says it is because St Mary’s Co-op’s own internal definition classes the local store as a “corner shop” rather than a supermarket, which means higher prices.

Alan has asked the regional boss why the prices cannot be charged at Penzance supermarket rates plus freight.

But local resident, Gillian Simmons emailed us to say that people should think about some of the great deals that they have in the store, and the fact that they cannot put any freight onto these. The Co-op also has a lot of price-marked goods, such as most of the meat, and once again no carriage can be put on that. She says we may end up having no deals or freight being added on and stickers put over the top of the prices, “like other places on the island do.”

There have also been complaints about the mix of product for sale, which the staff say are chosen by Co-op HQ in Manchester, like flower bulbs imported from East Anglia.

Mr Davis feels the islands should have a ring fenced position on the Co-op’s consultative committee to take island views into account and he says the store should be remodelled to use their adjacent accommodation building for freight which would reduce costs.

Mr Davis says he wants local shoppers to write to him with their views and he’ll make sure they are sent to the Co-op committee for their consideration.